In the past few days, our bloody-thirsty highways have increased the tally of the dead. Unfortunately these deaths have become so commonplace that they hardly make front page headlines let alone attract the discussion they used to do many years ago.
We have always dreaded a situation where deaths occasioned by reckless overtaking and poor maintenance of vehicles no longer mean a thing to Ghanaians especially the media. We appear to have inched to that notch and it is regrettable.
The past fortnight have especially been unusually bloody the Nkawkaw to Kumasi highway competing with similar notoriety of the Central Region roads. These highway carnages, besides becoming too common to attract the necessary attention, have been dwarfed by the Atomic gas explosion.
Today, Cabinet is meeting to take drastic measures to address the avoidable gas explosions which have characterized our country in the past few years, the Atomic Junction one being the most alarming. We wish the highway carnages could be put on an equal footing as the gas explosions.
The road accidents have refused to respond to institutional treatment such as the Road Safety Commission which have over the years mounted multifaceted programmes to address the lurking danger.
No longer is it safe to travel especially at night – the highways so eager to draw blood from innocent citizens. Not even the stringent tests being applied to driving licence applications are potent enough to reverse the situation.
Ghana has been rated among countries with the highest number of road deaths in the world, a fact which calls for concern.
Just as the gas explosion has attracted a national conversation and eventually reaching Cabinet, it is our take that the carnages on our roads too should be considered a national emergency requiring a presidential intervention.
It would seem that no week elapses without reports of deadly accidents on our roads across the country; some parts becoming notorious for the trend.
Can’t the relevant authorities identify the accident prone areas with a view to rendering them special treatment so deaths in these areas can be minimized or even stopped entirely?
Given the fact that most of the accidents are caused by commercial vehicles perhaps it would not be out of place to consider reorienting the drivers concerned so their cognitive statuses can be managed appropriately. Considering the way some of these persons overtake other vehicles and end up causing deadly accidents, we are compelled to think that they need education.
We think that for persons to drive commercial vehicles especially passenger ones, they must fall within a certain age bracket.
The dangerous state of our roads is not a hopeless one because when we put our heads together, policy-wise, we can arrive at measures which can ameliorate the rather worrying situation we find ourselves in.
Dualising our highways as long-term measure would be beneficial; although expensive, we think that it is a necessary consideration worth pursuing.